Time Life releases 'The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes' 6-DVD collector's set

Carol Burnett and her wacky variety show hold a firm spot in the fabric of my childhood. I started watching The Carol Burnett Show as a youngster, on and off throughout my formative years. As a teenager, I recall racing to a friend's house after school to catch the show all over again in reruns, which were still hilarious to me. Perhaps even more so as by then I'd matured a tad and caught on to some of the innuendo that went right over my head as a child.

Now, as an adult—a grandmother, in fact—I noticed even more adult-only references when chuckling my way through the fabulous six-DVD collection from Time Life, The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes, which I recently received free for review.

The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes

The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes ($59.95 suggested retail price) features original broadcast episodes from Seasons 1-5 (1967-1972), unseen for more than 40 years...

Read More

Faith-based 'Iesodo' opens door to discussion, understanding

Grandparents and Iesodo - Loveparents seeking animated videos that support Christian values and encourage faith and understanding in little ones will find that and much more in IESODO. The tagline for the series of DVDs is "Where Fun and Faith Take Flight" — a fitting description for the exceptionally produced tales youngsters will immediately take to.

Iesodo (pronounced "YAY-Sa-Doe") means "The way of Jesus" and is...

Read More

North America: 7-part Discovery series now on DVD (Review)

I've seen very little of the world, very little even of North America and the United States. At least not in person. Thanks to Discovery, though, I can see it far better on my television than I could ever manage in person. 

North America, the magnificent seven-part series from Discovery, is now available on DVD. Hosted by Tom Selleck and featuring unbelievable photography of our vast continent and its wild inhabitants, the two-disc set includes the following original episodes:

  • Born to be Wild
  • No Place to Hide
  • Learn Young or Die
  • The Savage Edge
  • Outlaws and Skeletons
  • North America Revealed
  • Top Ten

Bonus features on the DVD include extended footage, a filmmakers' commentary and the "Atomospheric Audio Experience" (music and nature sounds).

The spectacular footage on North America immediately captivates... and makes you ask "How in the world did they capture that?" again and again. Commentary from photographers near the end of each episode help enlighten viewers. Still, it's truly amazing.

What sets North America apart from other similar DVDs I've had the privilege of reviewing is that North America has a sense of humor, thanks to Tom Selleck's narration as well as the titling from the creators. For example, this humorously titled clip called "Never mess with a chipmunk's nuts:"

There are many similarly humorous moments throughout North America. I only wish there'd been a clip of the hilarious mating ritual of exotic birds, set to "The Mambo Craze" by De-Phazz.

The music accompanying that and many other scenes is another thing that sets North America apart from other nature DVDs. I'm not talking grand scores while the camera scans the countryside (though there are such shots). No, I mean the selection of contemporary music with incredibly captured moments. Think "Black Betty" by Huddie Ledbetter playing while wild mustangs battle one another. "Gimme Shelter" from The Rolling Stones as the soundtrack for incredible tornado footage. Lenny Kravitz's "I Love the Rain" playing along with a lightning storm. And my favorite: Etta James singing "Sway" during an extravagant hummingbird courting ritual. Plus many more.

One thing my husband and I found interesting about North America was that much of the action and attention seemed focused on areas in the western portion of North America, with just bits here and there on things west of the Mississippi. Understandable, I suppose, considering it is the wild, wild west.

East or west, the beauty of this magnificent place we call home shines through on North America.

North America from Discovery is available on DVD, with a list price of $29.93. For more info and to purchase — and to see more video clips from North America — visit Discovery's North America site.

Disclosure: I received this product free for review as part of the Entertainment New Media Network. Opinions are my own.

Alpha and Omega 2: A Howl-iday Adventure (Giveaway/Review)

Kate, Humphrey and their three wolf cubs — Stinky, Claudette and Runt — are back! Time to snuggle up with your own cubs to enjoy Alpha and Omega 2: A Howl-iday Adventure, recently released by Lionsgate in a Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD available exclusively at Walmart.

 
From front to back: "Stinky," "Runt," "Claudette," "Humphrey" and "Kate" in Lionsgate Home Entertainment's ALPHA AND OMEGA 2: A HOWL-IDAY ADVENTURE.

The new holiday movie features the unlikely pair of wolves, Kate and Humphrey, and their new frisky family of cubs in a heartwarming wilderness adventure. As the family prepares to celebrate its first winter holidays together, their smallest cub, Runt, mysteriously disappears.  They must journey across the wilderness to find and bring back Runt before the winter festivities begin at home. While their adventure does not end exactly as planned, in the end Kate and Humphrey discover that for the holidays, “Home is where the family is.”


The 45-minute movie is filled with action and suspense as well as plenty of the humor and heartwarming moments. Adults will chuckle at the banter between the parents as well as a slo-mo moment when a toboggan takes a tumble and Kat and Humphrey find a second for romance mid-air. My hubby and I certainly were amused by the flick… and we didn’t even have grandkids in the room while watching it.

Special features include:

  • Are you an Alpha or an Omega?
  • Wolf Fun Facts Trivia
  • A Wolf’s Tale: Making Alpha and Omega 2
  • Following the Pack: A Sneak Peek Into Upcoming Alpha and Omega Adventures

For more on Alpha and Omega 2: A Howl-iday Adventure, visit the Alpha and Omega DVD site.

Thanks to Lionsgate Entertainment, you can enter to win an Alpha and Omega 2: A Howl-iday Adventure Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD Combo Pack ($24.99 value). Enter via Rafflecopter below. Entries accepted through midnight MST Nov. 18. Random winner will be chosen and notified Nov. 19. Prize to be shipped by Lionsgate, not this blog.

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Disclosure: I received this product free for review as part of the Entertainment New Media Network. Opinions are my own.

'Camp' and 'Season of a Lifetime": Two uplifting, inspirational family films

When it comes to television, my husband and I prefer down-and-dirty dramas. Think Breaking Bad, Justified, Walking Dead, Sons of Anarchy. Family fare is rarely on the series agenda for us.

When it comes to feature films, though, we enjoy and appreciate a far wider variety, everything from documentaries and dramas to comedies, musicals, family films. We recently had the opportunity courtesy Word Films to enjoy two powerful movies available on DVD that not only entertain but that uplift and inspire, as well.

CampThe first is Camp, a film inspired by the true stories of folks who volunteer at Royal Family Kids Camp for abused and neglected children — not to be confused with the recent television series of the same name. In Camp, a jaded financial advisor named Ken (Michael Mattera) volunteers to help at a Christian-based summer camp for kids in the foster care system. He's paired with 10-year-old Eli (Miles Elliot), who recently lost his mother to a heroin overdose and who's not too thrilled at the prospect of spending time at camp. The two butt heads along the way to an understanding and acceptance of one another.

While Camp, rated PG-13, will appeal to adults as well as older kids, I do want to point out that the first few minutes give an unflinching glimpse into the life of an abused youngster, the lead child character in the film. It's not graphic but does show the reality some kiddos face at the hands of horrendous parents, and I imagine it may be a bit too realistic for some kids. I suggest grandparents and parents watch it first (at least the first few minutes) in advance of viewing with kids.

Overall, though, Camp is certainly worth sharing with teens. And the special features should be watched by all adults. I must admit I was inspired to consider volunteering at a camp myself after hearing the stories of those who have and how it changed not only the lives of the children they met but their own lives, too.

Find more information on the movie and DVD/Blu-ray availability at TheCampMovie.com.

Season of a LifetimeThe second DVD I received free for review from Word Films was Season of a Lifetime. It's a documentary on the incredible true story of Jeremy Williams, a high-school football coach who, when faced with Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS), chose to continue coaching his team for one last season. The tagline of the film is "Faith. Family. Football.," and Season of a Lifetime (not rated) powerfully shares all three.

The challenges faced by the terminally ill Williams and his family are heart wrenching, but he faces them with such heart, strength and spirit that it's impossible not to cheer for him — and for his team. Season of a Lifetime had a slight Friday Night Lights feel (one of the more wholesome series my husband and I have watched and loved), and the interviews with Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, made famous in 1993's Rudy, and other fans, friends and family underscore the unflinching courage of Jeremy Williams and what a true hero he is.

Find out more about Jeremy Williams and the film on the Season of a Lifetime website.

Disclosure: I received the two movies free for review. Opinions and anecdotes are my own.

Never too old for dinosaurs: Three new dino discs from BBC

dinosaur

The fascination with dinosaurs never fades, as evidenced by the recent re-release of the fantastic-yet-fictional Jurassic Park, now in 3D.

For those seeking equally fantastic yet factual information and more on all things dinosaur, come three new DVDs from BBC Home Entertainment on the amazing creatures, sure to captivate the hearts and minds of dinosaur lovers.

Extreme DinosaursExtreme Dinosaurs (single disc, 100 minutes, $19.92 MSRP) includes two features that challenge long-held beliefs about Tyrannosaurus rex. The first, Extreme Dinosaurs narrated by Paul Brightwell, provides tremendous information and evidence to show that the six-ton Argentinosuarus just may be a more fierce predator than the T-Rex.The second, T-Rex: Warrior or Wimp? narrated by Jack Fortune, further challenges the idea that the T-Rex was the most fearsome dinosaur of all. Both features include numerous interviews with paleontologists, dinosaur hunters, and experts of all degrees. There's a fair amount of time spent on Pete Larson, who found "Sue", the most complete T-Rex fossil, which was then confiscated by the FBI.

Predator DinosaursPredator Dinosaurs (single disc, 100 minutes, $19.92 MSRP) was my favorite disc of the trio. In this one, Bill Oddie presents facts on the most brutal dinosaurs of all (think T-Rex, Triceratops, Velociraptor, Anklysaurus) in a fascinating and fun manner, with many humorous asides. Techniques used to provide a more in-depth and interesting look at the dinosaurs include CGI, biomechanics, high-tech scans and more. A fun demonstration in which men reenact a possible tussle between a T-Rex and a Triceratops was one of the highlights for me. Well, that an a lengthy discourse on how an ostrich is seemingly a long-lost relative of the T-Rex.

Prehistoric ParkPrehistoric Park (2-disc set, 288 minutes, $19.92 MSRP) is the most dramatic of the features, closely resembling Jurassic Park. The gist of it is that Nigel Marven, a zoologist and wildlife expert, travels 65 million years back in time to collect dinosaurs to populate his dinosaur park. It's a race against time, as he needs to nab at least one of each species before dinosaurs are rendered extinct thanks to a meteor hitting earth. Marven seemed much like a dinosaur-hunting version of Steve Irwin's crocodile hunter, and the CGI creatures he'd come across and curate made for a fun safari of sorts.

What I loved about the trio of features: While Extreme Dinosaurs was jam-packed with interesting tales primarily of those who dig for and research dinosaurs, the CGI, re-enactments, and sometimes cheeky humor (deliberate or not) of the second two made them fun viewing even for folks who may not be diehard dinosaur lovers. As is the case with all things presented by BBC Home Entertainment, the graphics, photography, research and more that go into all three of the features is beyond compare.

What I didn't love so much: Because dinosaurs hold such appeal for youngsters, I thought the features would be more accessible to young kids. The extensive research and interviewing, though, rendered these DVDs more likely to appeal to kids over, say, the age of 10, I think. That said, the first might be too dry and factual for all but adults.

Extreme Dinosaurs, Predator Dinosaurs, and Prehistoric Park were released by BBC Home Entertainment March 12, 2013, and available for purchase on the BBC website.

Disclosure: I received copies of the DVDs free for review. All opinions are my own.

'Lettuce Love One Another' — A VeggieTales DVD for Valentine's Day

Beloved Bob and Larry from VeggieTales are off and running with a new DVD just in time for Valentine's Day, VeggieTales Lettuce Love One Another.

For this love-filled collection, the rotund tomato and perky cucumber characters share three favorite VeggieTales episodes plus five brand-new "Bible Bits."

VeggieTales episodes in the collection, presented by Bob the Tomato, include:

  • Tomato Sawyer and Huckleberry Larry's Big River
  • Abe & The Amazing Promise
  • King George & the Ducky

And Larry the Cucumber shares the five Bible Bits, each a lesson in and example of forgiving, helping, giving, praying, or sharing.

Bonus fun: Three silly songs, two story book tales, instructions on how to draw Abe and King George, and more.

Take a look:

 

VeggieTales offers up some fun printables to go along with Lettuce Love One Another. The Service Coupons make perfect last-minute Valentine's Day gifts for kids to give and get, and the Kindness Chart keeps kindness front of mind on a daily basis. And, of course, there's a VeggieTales Valentine's Day card for printing on cardstock, too. Click on the graphics thumbnails below for the full-sized printable pages (if you have trouble printing from the page, right-click the full-size image to save to your computer, then print from that).

Lettuce Love One Another Service Coupons


Lettuce Love One Another Kindness Chart

Lettuce Love One Another Valentine


VeggieTales Lettuce Love One Another, released Jan. 15, is available at all major retail outlets for SRP $12.99.

Disclosure: I received a copy of the DVD for review. Opinions are my own.